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ADA AND THE ENGINE

By Lauren Gunderson

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Department of Theatre acknowledges the land we are on in Tennessee is the original homeland of the Cherokee, Yuchi, Shawnee, and Chickasaw tribal nations. We honor these indigenous people, their heritage, their culture, and their legacy. We respect those who are still here and whose descendants live and thrive here despite the systems of harm they have encountered from the dominant/majority culture. 

NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

In 2019, I had the pleasure to direct Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson (the same playwright), a magnificent biographical drama about three female astronomers in the early 1900s who made critical advancements in the science of astronomy that we still use today. Their names are Henrietta Levitt, Annie Cannon, and Williamina Fleming. What I love about Silent Sky is that it gives those historical women, who overcame enormous obstacles and patriarchal practices, their time in the spotlight. So many women have been lost to the annals of history for myriad reasons, and I appreciate this playwright’s effort to elevate their voices.

The same is happening in this play – Gunderson draws attention to the incredulous work of mathematician Ada Byron Lovelace, who is considered the first computer programmer. Everyone knows Charles Babbage’s and Lord Byron’s names, but do you know hers? I hope you enjoy this chance to hear her story, with all of its complications, layers, and humanity thrown in. 

Ultimately, this is a story about the capacity of the human mind and spirit, the intersection of science and art, and the sacrifice women in history have endured to achieve the impossible. I hope that you are inspired by the play, and recognize your own capacity to change the world. To quote the show, “Not everything that seems impossible stays impossible.”

Beki Baker, M.F.A.

CAST LIST

Ada Byron: Meghan Wombles
Lady Anabella Byron: Andrea Hernandez
Charles Babbage: Lorenzo Rivera
Lord Lovelace: Max Hunkler 
Mary Sommerville: Marley Crouch
Byron: Bryce Dunn

ENSEMBLE/UNDERSTUDIES 

Ada Byron u/s: Samantha Scattini
Lady Annabella Byron u/s: Claire Pals
Charles Babbage u/s: Tiger Dulaney
Lord Lovelace u/s: Brock Loyd
Mary Sommerville u/s: Ava Sin 
Byron u/s: Damarques Johns
Ensemble Swing: Nylah Watts

PRODUCTION TEAM

Producer/Director: Beki Baker
Production Manager: Andy Bleiler
Dialect Coach: Nettie Kraft
Scenic Designer: Andy Bleiler
Costume Designer: June Kingsbury
Wig Designer: Jonah Smith*
Lighting Designer: Stephen Moss
Sound Designer/Asst. Costume Designer: Saidee Hannel*
Technical Director: Hendrick Shelton
Master Electrician: Kelly Scheuman, Rylee Hickey
Electrician: Eli German
Stage Manager: Aubrey Bagley*
Assistant Stage Managers: Ash Barrett*, Justice Orrand*
Assistant Director: Erynn Barrett*
Props Assistant: Kaylie Herpolsheimer*

*denotes students

STUDENT RUN CREW

Stage Crew: Preslie Cagle, Maya Mezgel, Phoebe Countryman, Joylin Lescalleet, Mariko Tan, Berkley Landreth
Wardrobe: Bowen Sellers, Anna Jones, Ella Haganman, Sarah Cooper
Light Board Operator: Erin Crandall 
Sound Board Operator: David Long III

STUDENT PRODUCTION CREW

Shop Foremen: Makinley Smith, Ash Barrett, Annie McMurrian, Peyton Lewis, Andrea Hernandez, Garner Harsh, Marian Barber, Maegan Kirkland, Nate Mann
Scenic Practicum: Megan Ammons, Knoelle Antley, Preslie Cagle, Katie Haralson, Brock Loyd, Zahra Alsooz, Alex Dee, Téa Doherty, David Long III, Andrea Hernandez, Samantha Scattini, Mariko Tan, Phoebe Countryman, Lawson Karber, Berkley Landreth, Joylin Lescalleet, Nathan Mann, Maya Mezgel, Sophie Simmons, Aleyah Williams, Makenzie Cogswell, Aleia Eagleton, Katarina Kell, Battle Loyd, William Monin, Nylah Watts

Costume Shop Staff: Ava Sin, Jaidyn Smart, Emma Stanard, Regan Mills
Costume Practicum: Connor Adair, Ash Barrett, Aleia Eagleton, Olivia Eley, Claire Pals, Isabella Wickham, Sarah Cooper, Kayla Dunn, Ella Haganman, Bowen Sellers, Ava Sin, Jonah Smith, Allie Andres, Lillian Brown, Erin Crandall, Mackenzie Gregory, Anna Jones, Maegan Kirkland, Jackson Martin, Jaidyn Smart

Lighting Foreman: Justice Orrand, Justin Littrell
Lighting Practicum: Erin Crandall, Marley Crouch, Kellen Ferrell, Madelyn Jones, Peyton Lewis, Grace Mullins, Rachel Penner, Emma Ramsey, Makinley Smith, Emily Stephen, Callie Jean Tysdal, James Wier, Meghan Wombles

LICENSING RIGHTS

Ada and the Engine licensing rights are provided by Dramatists Play Service.

SPECIAL THANKS

Nashville Repertory Theatre, Sarah Johnson, Walker Lumber, Nashville Plywood, Sherwin Williams

SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT

In an effort to reduce our impact on the environment, and preserve resources for future generations, our department has worked to ensure that as much of the material used in our shows comes from sustainable sources. 

The scenery you will see was constructed using 100% reused or sustainably sourced materials, and water based, low VOC paints and coatings. The lighting equipment used in this production utilizes high efficiency LED technology, and much of the costuming has been created using repurposed or reclaimed materials. 

Lipscomb University is proud to be a member of the Broadway Green Alliance, a national organization that supports sustainable practices and standards for productions on Broadway, national tours, regional theaters, convention centers, and educational theater organizations. Our Green Captains who are representatives for the Broadway Green Alliance are Andy Bleiler, Justice Orrand, Ash Barrett, and Ava Sin. For more information about the Broadway Green Alliance, please visit broadwaygreen.com

ADA'S POEM

The Rainbow

Bow down in hope, in thanks, all ye who mourn;—
⁠Where'in that peerless arche of radiant hues
⁠Surpassing earthly tints,—the storm subdues!
Of nature's strife and tears 'tis heaven-born,
To soothe the sad, the sinning, and forlorn;
⁠A lovely loving token to infuse
⁠The hope, the faith, that pow'r divine endures
With latent good the woes by which we're torn.—
'Tis like a sweet repentance of the skies,
⁠To beckon all by sense of sin opprest,—
⁠Revealing harmony from tears and sighs!
A pledge:—that deep implanted in the breast
⁠A hidden light may burn that never dies,
But bursts thro' clouds in purest hues exprest!


A. A. Lovelace